Further diving into our ongoing player ranking we arrive at De’Aaron Fox. Since entering the league in 2017 Fox has been one of the most entertaining and productive young guards in the league. The culmination of this was a breakout season last year where Fox established himself as a no-brainer top-25 player.
Top 25 NBA players 2023-24: No. 16 De’Aaron Fox
A Dynamic Guard:
Throughout his career, Fox has been best known for his incredible speed and finishing abilities. This makes Fox one of the most prolific downhill scorers and exciting players to watch in the league. Additionally, Fox is a high-level playmaker, shot-creator, defender, and mid-range scorer. This skill set makes Fox nearly the complete package. In recent years, Fox has blossomed into one of the most clutch scorers in the league. This clutch ability was on full display last year during both the regular season and playoffs.
Season Recap: Fox’s Breakout Year:
Entering last season there were many questions surrounding Fox. He was coming off a down year and many people believed this would be the new norm for Fox. However, Fox responded by having the best season of his career and put to rest any doubts about his game. Fox saw the most success from both an individual and team standpoint this season. Fox’s incredible individual season earned him his first All-Star selection and the NBA’s inaugural Clutch Player of the Year Award. Leading the league in clutch points helped Fox secure this award. Importantly Fox also led the Kings to a top 3 seed and 48 wins breaking the franchise’s 16-year-long playoff drought in the process.
The Kings were one of the most entertaining teams to watch and their surprisingly successful season was one of the best storylines of the season. As the best player on the team, Fox was incredibly productive and entertaining. A full season with Domantas Sabonis greatly evaluated Fox’s level of play and shot quality. The duo formed one of the best two-man games in the league. Fox’s incredible statistical production alongside his entertaining clutch buckets and electric down-hill scoring ability highlighted Sacramento’s season. This momentum carried over into the playoffs where Fox had a stellar first-round series against the Warriors. Battling through a finger injury Fox impressively averaged 27 points and 7 assists including some key 4-quarter buckets throughout the series. This included two 38-point outbursts in game 1 and 4. While Fox and the Kings ultimately lost the series in 7 games this was a great first playoff for Fox and capped off his breakout season.
The Kings had a quiet off-season. Sacramento decided to run it back with the hope of internal improvements and replicating their success from last year. The Kings certainly have a talented and well-put-together roster but replicating their success will be a massive test. Especially because the Western Conference is loaded with talented teams that improved during the off-season.
Regardless of team success, Fox is poised to have another stellar season. Not only is Fox coming off a career year and now entering his prime at 25. But the roster is also tailored perfectly around Fox’s skillset. This will result in another year of elite offense for both Fox and Sacramento. The ceiling for this Kings team feels like a top-three seed and conference finals run while the floor feels like a competitive playoff team. Ultimately, Fox is projected to have another great year on a worst-case competitive playoff squad.
The Last Word on De’Aaron Fox:
Before last year Fox hovered around the top 30-40 players. However, Fox’s incredible season catapulted his rankings and changed the perception of him within the NBA community. Furthermore at 25 Fox could continue to climb this list. Watching Fox and the Kings continue growing together hopefully leading to some real success at some point is incredibly intriguing.